Student loans are real loans, just like a mortgage, and they must be paid back.  Your loans cannot be cancelled because you did not get the job you had anticipated.  Understanding the repayment process for your student loans will assist you in making wise decisions and help you ensure your financial success.

There are 8 different Repayment Plans to choose from:

Standard Repayment Plan Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (PAYE)
Graduated Repayment Plan Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR)
Extended Repayment Plan Income-Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR)
Revised Pay as You Earn Repayment Plan (REPAYE) Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan

Compare all the repayment plans.

We’ve teamed up with Solutions at ECMC to answer all of your student loan repayment questions. Solutions is a service of the non-profit organization ECMC and is dedicated to helping students manage educational loans. Their resources are available to you free of charge. To contact a Solutions Student Loan Repayment Advisor, via email, phone, or web chat, visit their website here.

They will help you with:

  • Deferment and Forbearance options, if you qualify
  • Help you understand the different repayment plan options, which ones you qualify for, and which one is right for you
  • One-on-one student loan counseling

Whether you’re just starting school, been enrolled awhile, or graduating soon, now is the time to get involved with your federal student loans.

A few places to start:

  • Set up your online account at your servicer’s website
  • Log into your NSLDS profile (this is the database for all your federal student loans)

You may also want to consider Loan Consolidation.  This means that you would combine or consolidate all of your Federal Loans together into one loan resulting in one monthly payment as opposed to several monthly payments.  To weigh the pros and cons of loan consolidation and to determine if this would work best for you, visit here.

There are certain instances when a student's loan(s) can be Forgiven, Cancelled, or Discharged.  If a loan is forgiven, cancelled, or discharged, then you no longer have to pay that specific loan(s) back.  This is NOT an automatic process that occurs; you MUST contact your lender directly to apply to receive one of these loan statuses. 

If you are having trouble paying back your loans or you have gone back to school, you may qualify for a Deferment or Forbearance.  A deferment is a period during which repayment of the principal and interest of your loan is temporarily delayed.  A forbearance can give you the ability to stop making payments on your loan or reduce the monthly payment for up to 12 months (interest will continue to accrue).  To request a deferment or forbearance, you will need to contact your lender directly.  In some instances, you may also need to contact your school for additional information or to complete paperwork for your lender.

Online Calculators

Not sure what you can afford to pay each month?  Use one of these calculators to help figure out what you can reasonably pay each month.


“My name is AJ and I'm a graduate from Eastern University. Once I graduated I knew I had loans to pay off, but I had no idea how to start this process and get the ball rolling. About a month before I had to start paying off the my loans I still had no idea what I was doing. I decided to go to the Financial Aid Office and see if they could point me in the right direction. Once I got there, they were extremely welcoming and willing to help me. I went in there thinking I was going to schedule an appointment. Instead of making an appointment, I ended up sitting down right then and there to get it all taken care of. If you feel like I did, clueless about how to start the process of paying off loans, go to the Financial Aid Office! They want to work with you!”

-AJ, EU Alum